A message from SNAPDFW’s facilitator, Lisa Kendzior
Acknowledge your courage
It takes courage to acknowledge that we’ve been abused and it is not easy to even admit it to ourselves. Just browsing this website is a big step.
Know that you are not alone!
If you’ve been victimized by clergy, please know that you are not alone. You can get better. You can reach out to others who’ve been hurt just like you have.
Together, we can heal one another.
This Week in Quotes: Boston Herald columnist says Roman hierarchy responsive to its victims only if forced
"For the Catholic hierarchy, again, has made it abundantly clear: They won’t stand up for children anywhere until somebody makes them." -- Boston Herald Columnist Margery Eagan -- Sunday, May 16, 2010
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Pope's defense: Official documents are no proof; bishops not on Vatican payroll; motives too complicated for courtsThe Vatican is detailing its defense against the first U.S. case to reach the stage of determining whether victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself for negligence for the failure of bishops to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who molested children.
Apparently grasping for legal straws, the pope's high-powered US defense lawyer is expected to detail a strategy crafted to shield the pope and his bureaucracy in Rome from prosecution for negligence in protecting victims of rape and abuse by their underlings.
According to an AP report filed yesterday, the defense, in effect, says:
- Official secret documents do not prove coverup;
- Vatican is not responsible for actions by US bishops, who are not paid by Rome;
- Pope/bishop relationship is too "complicated" for courts to use in legalities designed to protect victims of the Catholic priest system.
Read the entire AP report filed earlier today ...
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Irish Times reports that in many meetings with abuse victims and their supporters, mostly in private, Martin has earned a unique degree of trust. That may have been dented last February when, on his return from meeting the pope with the other Irish bishops in Rome, it was felt by the abused that his wings had been clipped.
But that may change after his recent remarks.
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Pope calls kettle black again, blaming Portugal's financial crisis on the country's need for "moral responsibility"In yet another mind-boggling display of the pope calling the kettle black, pope Ratzinger, quoting himself, blamed the people of Portugal -- who, as all papal hosts countries are required to do, are underwriting his current trip there to the tune of millions of dollars -- saying that the current fiscal woes of the small catholic country demonstrated their need for "moral responsibility."
In answering pre-screened questions from reporters, he also mentioned the church-threatening priest sexual abuse crisis, saying that the threat is due to sins "within" the church, failing yet again to admit in any way the sins "of" the church.
The comments appeared to repudiate the Vatican's initial response to the scandal, in which it blamed the media as well as pro-choice and pro-gay marriage advocates for mounting a campaign against the church and the pope in particular.
But the statements can easily be seen as merely more rhetoric, this time to say what the world seems to want to hear, rather than what the millions of catholic priesthood victims of power and sex abuse need to hear.
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Austrian cardinal attacks former Vatican No. 2; Roman hierarchy needs reform urgently: "days of coverup are over"Austria's Roman cardinal has said the former second-highest Vatican official blocked a probe into a sex abuse scandal that rocked the country's Catholic church 15 years ago.
Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn also accused Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the retired Vatican secretary of state, of causing ''massive harm'' to victims when he dismissed claims of clerical abuse as ''petty gossip'' on Easter Sunday.
Schoenborn's recent comments to a select group of journalists were summarized by the Catholic news agency Kathpress.
Schoenborn also was quoted as saying that it was no secret the Curia was "in urgent need of reform."
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Untold story of Roman Catholic hierarchy reassigning known pedophile priests to 3rd world, poverty striken nationsThere is a huge story, yet to be told, of the Roman Catholic Church's track record for reassigning known priest rapists and sexually abusive clerics to 3rd world, Catholic dominated nations, where victims have minimal to no resources for defending themselves.
A specific instance is the West African nation of Sierra Leone, where there is no electricity or piped water, and where the Roman Catholic Church twice reassigned the American pedophile priest, James Tully.
The Associated Press reports that a 40-year-old schoolteacher now charges that priest Tully abused him and others, giving palm wine to his teenage victims to make them more susceptible to his advances.
The teacher told The Associated Press that Tully abused him and other boys repeatedly during his first stint in Sierra Leone, from 1979 to 1985. After a conviction in the U.S. for giving minors alcohol and groping them, the church sent Tully back to Sierra Leone for a second stint from 1994 to 1998.
Tully's story is an example of how the church transferred abusive priests from country to country, in a scandal now emerging worldwide. But it also shows the deep reluctance to come out against a Catholic priest in many parts of Africa.
Catholic Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg cautioned this month that the scandals in the church were not particular to the United States and Europe.
"It simply means that the misbehaviour of priests in Africa has not been exposed to the same glare of the media as in other parts of the world," Tlhagale said.
Read the AP Story in the Winnipeg Free Press ...
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New sex abuse charges force pope to finally boot German bishop who admitted to assault of children last monthA German bishop, who admitted assaulting children, and who offered to resign last month, was finally taken off line by the pope when new charges against him of sexually abusing children emerged.
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Levada struggled, during the questioning, to recall why he had further chosen not to alert parishioners of these priests.
"But an examination of his record, pieced together from interviews and a review of thousands of pages of court documents, show that he generally followed the prevailing practice of the church hierarchy, often giving accused priests the benefit of the doubt and being reluctant to remove them from ministry." -- NY Times, 06 May 2010.
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Vatican's chief of cardinals one of Maciel's "powerful protectors in the Roman Curia," says NY Times and NCRAccording to an article in today's NY Times, Vatican scapegoat, and priest-rapist Marcial Maciel had powerful protectors in the Roman Curia.
For years, Maciel had cultivated these powerful allies among the cardinals, through gifts and cash donations. This is according to reporting by Jason Berry in the National Catholic Reporter. Mr. Berry is co-author of a book about (Maciel's) order and helped break the story of the priest’s abuses.
"Chief among these allies was the former Vatican secretary of state and, by office, the most powerful man next to Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, now the dean of the College of Cardinals and an outspoken defender of Benedict."
"Until Pope Benedict confronts Sodano’s role in the cover-up of Maciel, I don’t see how he can move beyond the crisis that has engulfed his papacy,” Mr. Berry said.
Read "Abuse case ... Vatican politics" in today's NY Times ...
Read "Money paved the way for Maciel's influence in the Vatican" by Jason Berry in NPROnline ...
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"With just two or three carefully orchestrated sentences over a few days, Benedict leaves the impression that he's doing something about an intractable, decades-old crisis. ...
Keep in mind that the pope is the CEO of a global monarchy with a very troubling track record when it comes to the safety of kids." -- SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy 02 May 2010
Read the entire article by SNAP's David Clohessy in the Charleston, SC Post & Courier ...
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"A central, sad truth runs through the story that has been unraveling for the past 25 years: When the community most needed its leaders to act as pastors they chose instead to act as princes, ignoring the problem all around them while employing every means available to spare the realm." -- National Catholic Reporter
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Vatican verbally assaults, scapegoats one of its own in words that ring of self-indictment; SNAP respondsA seemingly indignant pope vitiated the former czar of the Legionaries of Christ, priest Marcial Maciel, using words that could be applied to the Vatican itself.
The pope appointed a personal delegate to run the neo-conservative band of Roman priests, refusing to disband Maciel's group, well known for providing the church with more priests and money. The Legionaries of Christ, is a hugely wealthy Mexican order founded by criminal paedophile, Maciel. The group exerted major influence in the Vatican during the reign of John Paul II.
The Vatican statement was unequivocal in its tough denunciation of Maciel's personal crimes and deception, but it placed the blame almost entirely on him, making no mention of any complicity on the part of Vatican officials.
Those officials had held up Maciel as a model for the faithful and implied that most of the Legionaries' members were kept in the dark about their leader's crimes.
"In announcing the papal takeover, the Vatican excoriated Maciel for creating a 'system of power' built on silence, deceit and obedience that enabled him to lead a double life "devoid of any scruples and authentic sense of religion" and allowed him to abuse young boys unchecked.
"'By pushing away and casting doubt upon all those who questioned his behavior, and the false belief that he wasn't doing harm to the good of the Legion, he created around him a defense mechanism that made him unassailable for a long period, making it difficult to know his true life,'" the Vatican said."
Read the AP story on the scapegoating of Maciel in the Washington Post ...
Read SNAP director David Clohessy's response ...
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